This is Christy. My birthday falls on a unique date in the Zodiac calendar. It’s wedged right smack in the middle of the profoundly opposite signs “Leo” and “Virgo”. Half of the publications I’ve read list me as a “free-spirited social butterfly with a knack for creativity and a love for the spotlight” (Leo) while the other half declares me to be “extremely organized and practical in thought with an obsessive attention to detail” (Virgo). As a young girl, I found secret pleasure in flipping to the back of my teen magazines and reading through both horoscopes, methodically choosing the one with the best outcome. (That was the Virgo in me.)
Though I’ve never put much stock in the whole business of astrology, I’ve found that my personality does tend to teeter in between the two very different identities (which makes my husband’s life pretty interesting. Prayers on his behalf are welcome.) My better half is a tried and true Virgo, and as such has been the more responsible and conservative one where money and budgeting are concerned. With each of YNAB’s Four Rules, his banker heart grew three sizes, but it was Rule Three that had made my free- spirited Leo take notice: Roll with the punches.
“I’ll be in charge of that one!” I joked.
I was positive that with my history of easy breezy non-budgeting, rolling with the punches would be right up my alley.
I was wrong.
A strange thing has happened to me these past three weeks as I’ve implemented the YNAB program into my life. I’ve gone from throwing away receipts and rarely checking my bank balance to scrutinizing our spending and comparing each category’s numbers from previous weeks in an OCD-like fashion. Don’t get me wrong, the urge to over spend is still there, but whether it’s the Virgo in me rearing it’s regimented head or one of my husband’s birthday wishes finally coming true (“I wish my wife would not send me into an early grave with her spending habits…”) a switch has flipped.
The problem is, I tend to be a bit “all or nothing”. I’m struggling with the fact that the numbers are not the exact same every week. I had a mini breakdown when I came home from the grocery store and noticed that I had gone $50 over the previous week’s grocery budget. I went over my receipt with a fine toothed comb, hoping to find the unnecessary culprit that could be easily discarded…..there wasn’t one.
“What am I doing wrong?!” I sniffled and snorted while my husband took his turn with the receipt.
“Nothing, Babe! This is rule three. This is where we adjust and roll with it.”
I’ve surprised myself with how much the organized, meticulous part of my brain has found comfort in the structure of YNAB. (I reserve the right to have setbacks and screw-ups!) It’s become more and more clear to me that where I really struggle is in finding balance between the loosey goosey, devil-may-care money drainer and someone who resembles an intense Scrooge McDuck. I guess even he took a break from his stacks of ledgers and enjoyed a swim in his money vault from time to time…
Is this a familiar struggle for any of my fellow YNABers? Has it been difficult to “roll with the punches”? Do you like your numbers to add up perfectly each month like I do? (Or should I be budgeting for some therapy sessions?)
Your Next Step
Budgeting is not restrictive. You won’t be spending less, you’ll be spending right. So what do you have to lose? Except all that debt and stress?